Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Share your handmade tips for giving extra this Christmas - and win an ipad!

Halifax, the bank that likes to give extra, are encouraging us to get more creative this yuletide and give a little something extra with our Christmas gifts.

A few thoughtful touches and DIY extras can really bring a present up a level - even a shop bought gift can be enhanced with a little personal touch to show you care.

I've been scouring the web and bring you my favourite ideas for extra finishing homemade touches...

Bottles

Lots of us like to give a bottle of wine or maybe a spirit at Christmas.  You can easily make it into a much more personal gift by adding your own label to it.  There are lots of free printables available online, I particularly like these ones.


Pyjamas and Dressing Gowns

Cosy new PJs are a popular gift at Christmas, but why not try adding a homemade extra like a hot water bottle cover.  These are really easy to make from old felted sweaters, so try a little upcycling!


Smellies

Bubbles and bath items can be presented beautifully as a spa set like this, mixing both shop bought and handmade items.  This turns your gift into a really wonderful pampering treat. Have a go at making your own shower scrubsbath bombs or body oils to give a really personal gift.


Photos and Pictures

We often give family photos as presents to grandparents - particularly school photos.  Instead of giving them in the ugly cardboard frames they come it, get your glue gun out, raid the button tin and decorate a frame to turn it into a wonderful keepsake.


Chocolates

These can be very expensive to buy, and let's be honest, nice as a box of chocs is, it can look a bit impersonal.  Making your own chocolate gift is not difficult, and you can package them up beautifully. These chocolates by Domestic Goddesque are so pretty.  Or if you are feeling a little more adventurous, these stunning truffles by Breakfast by the Sea look to die for.


photograph copyright © Heather Wilkinson 2012
Books

A book is a wonderful gift to receive, but why not add an extra special touch by making a bookmark to go with it?  I make lots of these and they are very simple to do.  You need some velvet ribbon, some ribbon crimp ends (you can source these online or in craft shops), pliers and some old pendants or broken jewellery. Such a pretty and practical upcycling project.



Games and Toys

There are lots of simple games you can make yourself, like these beautiful stone dominoes by Martha Stewart.  Red Ted Art has these adorable story cubes which will last as long as your imagination does.  Or why not pimp a shop bought toy, like Finley and Oliver does with this fabulous Lego play and carry box.





Gift Vouchers

A highly practical and popular gift, but lets face it, not exactly inspiring to look at!  Now that most vouchers come on pre-loaded credit-card sized plastic, making a lovely wallet for one not only makes it look more appealing, but it can be used after to hold business cards or store cards.



DVDs

You can turn a gift of a DVD into something much more special by creating a movie night hamper.  Theme the items around the film and add in packs of popcorn, a mug and some hot chocolate sachets and marshmallows, a homemade face pack, scented candle ... whatever is appropriate.


Gift Wrapping

No matter what you decide to give this Christmas, a little creative extra touch when wrapping it will go down a treat.  For children's presents you could add a candy cane; gingerbread man or chocolate tree decoration under the ribbon. Pretty iced biscuits look gorgeous as well as being a tasty treat tied to the front of a gift. Use pretty scarves and vintage brooches to dress up a gift, and the recipient will be sure to want to keep the wrapping.  Keen cooks and bakers will appreciate a festive cookie cutter or a sprig of fragrant herbs attached to their gift.



So, those are a few ideas to help you give a little extra this Christmas.  But I also want you to share your creative tips.  Please complete the rafflecopter below and leave a comment on this blog post with your best DIY tip for making your gifts a little extra special.  One contributor will be chosen at random to win a fantastic iPad Air 16gb (Wi-Fi only) worth around £400.  Just think of the hours you could spend on that drooling over blogs, Pinterest and Craft Gawker!

Terms:

This prize draw is in collaboration with Halifax.  The prize will be fulfilled by their agent.  The prize draw closes at midnight on 18th December 2013.  One winner will be selected from all valid entries at random. When entering, please ensure you provide a method of contact so I can notify you if you win.  All reasonable attempts will be made to contact the winner, but if they fail to respond within 7 days I reserve the right to re-draw.  Open to UK entrants only, and only one entry per person please. For full terms and conditions please see here.

Disclosure:

This post is in partnership with Halifax.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

As you can see, there were 329 comments left and it seems that Blogger puts a cap on comments shown at 200, so here's a screenshot from my dashboard to show that the comment was left fair and square. Congratulations to Fiona.


329 comments:

  1. We like making our own cards or gift wrap. Potato painting on craft paper or gift tags from old Christmas cards.

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  2. I made sweetie jars full of classic sweets like shrimps and flying saucers all wrapped up with a pretty bow x

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  3. We always use handmade tags on our presents as it just adds that extra special touch

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  4. Use brown paper for wrapping gifts personalised with stamps, either words or images depending on the occasion and recipient

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  5. painted stones make good paper weights and door stops!

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  6. some great gifts there....I particularly like edible gifts or those that you can drink - my flavoured vodkas are very popular as are my jars of chutney & fudge.

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  7. My girls draw and colour so much - it makes amazing wrapping paper for gifts :)

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  8. I love getting the kids involved - so lots of glitter and paint whilst making the christmas cards, they end up looking magically beautiful filled with lots of love

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  9. We make our own crackers for the table - this year we are filling them with jokes from my 4 year old including 'why did the Crocodile cross the road - because he had to get somewhere snappy', badges for us all to wear at the table and an embarrassing photo of each person coming for dinner so we can have a laugh and remember the good time of the year thats passed. I love Christmas xx

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  10. Making our own wrapping paper - the children drawing reindeer and snowmen on - that handmade and handdrawn touch means every sheet is unique and super special! x

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  11. I like doing edible and homemade gifts such as candy bark, cookie jars and saltdough ornaments, all the family can get involved too, more the merrier :)

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  12. We try to make our gifts personal. Some cheap but nice white mugs paint on some chalkboard paint and leave a special christmas message!

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  13. I like to made little jars of sweets.

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  14. we wrap presents in brightly coloured tissue paper, which makes gifts seem more special -and always include a hand written note

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  15. This year we are making gift wrap using a roll of brown paper and letting the kids get creative with the craft box. Also, I keep embellishments off of greetings cards and them reuse them on gift wrapping instead of buying bows and ribbons. You can attach them as tags using decorated clothes pegs!

    This reminds me, a cool idea I saw on Pinterest was to wrap gifts in plain black paper and then doodle on them with chalk pens! Kinds like that idea too!

    @mummiafelice

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  16. My daughter loves making cards, we always add her beautiful creations to every gift.

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  17. Such a gorgeous post Lizzie - We make up cookie mixtures Jars for the kids little friends and the kids always decorate mugs and fill with chocolates for their teachers! They always go down well x

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  18. always make cards and put a bow on presents

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  19. I tend to make a vat of chutney (usually with a Christmassy feel!) and ensure it gets decanted into the 'posh' empty jam jars and then pop a thick cardboard label around it with a personalised message. Often it doesn't replace their desired gift but adds a personal touch to what can otherwise be a little "I'll buy you this if you buy me that" mentality :)

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  20. My kids love my homemade strawberry jam, because... it is really yummy. I will add a few extra jars to their Christmas presents

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  21. A homemade body scrub in a nice glass jar with some handwritten tags and beautiful ribbon makes a lovely homemade gift x

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  22. This year we're giving fabric bags or t shirts personalised to the recipient with acrylic paint and stencils. So a teenage friend got a white shirt with the three birds from the Divergent book. Simple but effective.

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  23. I cut up old Christmas cards to make little gift tags.
    I also make my own crackers , that way I get to choose the gifts.

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  24. I've not got a lot of money this year so i'm planning to make a mixed home made food box with fudge and mince pies and stuff like that

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  25. I use old Christmas cards for next years labels and wrap presents with brown paper tied up with brightly coloured wool and matching pompom.

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  26. You can make mini Christmas cakes and ice them with a name or message. Tie a ribbon round, and it makes a lovely personal gift :)

    @cheekychicken24 on Twitter, or big.bad.30 [at] googlemail.com

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  27. I use old Christmas cards for next years labels and wrap presents with brown paper tied up with brightly coloured wool and matching pompom.

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  28. Our favourite DIY Christmas tradition is the 'Christmas Eve box'. I make up a hamper for myself and my son with new pyjamas, a christmas DVD, homemade fudge and biscuits, hot chocolate and a new book and we spend an evening together, in our pj's enjoying each other's company. Bliss <3

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  29. I have small scrap bit of fabric so cut them into heart shapes and sew them round leaving a small opening then Istuff them with wadding out of an old cushion then sew up with a small piece of ribbon attached inside so you can hang them on your christmas tree and they look great in all sorts of colours and sizes.

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  30. Little food gifts, wrapped in cellophane and tied with lots of lovely ribbon!

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  31. Hello lovely Lizzie,

    I'm going to be gifting family with picture-based gifts. I have Polargram prints and glossy 5x7 prints to turn into calendars and photo collages. Thank goodness the grandparents want nothing more!

    Karin xx

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  32. christine shelley11 December, 2013 21:34

    I save up all the freebies from the mags and make little extra pressies - started off years ago when all you got was tea towels!

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  33. I make hampers for family - full of homemade jams, chutneys, cider, bath melts, body lotions.

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  34. Homemade Pom poms is my fav easy craft, even I can manage them, and they look pretty on gifts or the tree x

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  35. I love to make home-made chocolate in special chocolate moulds for that extra little touch.

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  36. Love this post - I have to try the book marks :) I'm giving a few books this Christmas so perfect!
    I like to make something for the gift tags - last year I made little soldier peg dolls and the year before a air drying clay gingerbread star with everyone's initial x
    Emma xx (@beachpebble)

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  37. We make our own advent calendars and give them to each other. We hang different shaped boxes on a piece of string and put different sweets/chocolates in them and hang it on the wall.

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  38. gift tags and labels from old cards, home baked items

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  39. I make my own crackers. Each person gets their own little personal gift, this year have nail varnish, socks, trading cards and dog treats to name but a few! Much nicer than shop bought ones.
    Also I have made pots of gold for my sons teachers and helpers at school. Little gold glasses filled with gold sweets, gold coins etc and a christmas scratchcard, with a lovely poem on a homemade label, all wrapped in cold patterned cellophane.
    Pot of Gold
    Here’s a little pot of gold,
    A festive nibble too,
    I hope that it will make,
    All of your dreams come true,
    Have a very Merry Christmas,
    With love from Jack to You xxx

    Hope they like them (and remember us if they win big with the scratchcards!)

    Have a lovely Christmas xx

    gemmablake at hotmail . com

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  40. Wrap them up well with ribbon

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  41. I use hama beads to make napkin rings - you can make them as a butterfly, holly, bow - any style and colour. People always comment on how pretty they look attached beside the gift tag and it is something that is handmade and they can use again and again :) x

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  42. I love 'making' anything and this year we have decided to have a 'handmade' Christmas to try to cut the cost. I shall be making bookmarks with beaded tassels, keyrings, bag charms. We have made all our own Christmas cards this year, some photo cards and some with the children's fingerprints.

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  43. We will be making Christmas cards from different textures of papers, beads, photos, ect....also must not forget baking ginger men that we hang on the Christmas tree...PERFECT
    From; evahnt@yahoo.co.uk

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  44. I always recycle old Christmas card, either for tags or make collages onto blank cards. This year I am using brown parcel paper roll for wrapping, and using a vintage Christmas themed stamp to decorate the paper.

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  45. I use old Christmas cards to make tags for presents and also use them to make hand-made decorations for the tree.

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  46. i like to make little hampers with hamper boxes for my kids my daughter a beauty hamper and my son a sports one

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  47. we buy white mugs and use special marker pens to write a special message to someone special. That way they can use it everyday.

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  48. I make Christmas card, decorate wrapping paper, make jams, chutneys, after 8 mitns, lemon curd, little Christmas puddings, sugar plum fairies and coconut ice.

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  49. We use chocolate molds and make different shaped chocolates which we wrap up in cellophane and curly ribbon and attach to each present as an added extra

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  50. I love making My own Christmas Cards and crackers at Christmas. I also make candle centre pieces for Family and friends for their dinner tables using holly and ivy from the garden and baubles they look stunning. I like my hobby and it keeps me busy.

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  51. I make brownies for my friends, each has their own personalised box - recycled of course :)

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  52. Family Christmas Tree skirt. Keep adding handprints as more members join the family!

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  53. I've done potato printing on to plain paper for wrapping paper - it's really effective and the kids think it's fun. :-)

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  54. I make lots of homemade biscuits, each with different words stamped on them using biscuit alphabet stamps. The words have a special meaning for a given person.

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  55. I get my daughter to do Xmas drawings on lots of different sized paper and we wrap the presents up using them, family and friends just love it...

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  56. I have fruit trees in my garden so I make chutney and cordial for Christmas gifts. It's extra lovely because we grow the ingredients and then make the gifts,

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  57. My son does the labels. He is 3 and is so cute trying to write the names :)

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  58. I get cloth soft bags from my work as a plumber and use these for putting presents in. I sometimes dye them different colours.

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  59. Homemade Pear Chutney made from the pears on my tree in a nice presentation jar makes an extremely attractive present.

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  60. Some inexpensive mugs and a home made hot chocolate mix with marshmallows makes a Gorgeous gift! xx

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  61. It has become tradition for me to crochet everyone a new mobile phone cover as part of their Christmas gift. I also make my own CHristmas cards and recycle the cards I received the previous year by making them into gift tags. I always make tablet and put it in pretty boxes tied with ribbon for my work colleagues and neighbours.

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  62. Me and my children always make wrapping paper for the gifts they are giving to nearest and dearest, we use brown paper and potato stamp it, it looks really good

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  63. I love to create new recipes for cookies & cakes to bake for gifts

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  64. I like making hampers up of various themes

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  65. I love crocheting things. Now that I've finally mastered that wonderful art - at least in blanket form - all of the adults in my family are getting crocheted throws for Christmas. (I'm sooo glad there aren't many of them!!!)

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  66. We love a homemade cracker or buy a kit from Oxfam, really cheap, hrs of fun and very personal gifts placed inside x

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  67. For the last 2 years I've made little hot chocolate cones using cellophane cones, hot choc, mini marshmallows and choc chips all finished off with ribbon and a candy cane stirrer. They are so cheap to make and cover teachers, colleagues, little extra secret Santa additions. Everyone loves them

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  68. I love getting the kids to make crackers and cards and they love it too

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  69. homemade labels and giftwrap

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  70. my best advice is to use things that you already have. try and limit the amount of spending. not only so you save money but it also makes it alot more personal

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  71. My craft skills are poor, but hiding presents with clues to the location of the next present has worked very well :-)

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  72. a simple homemade card with personal pics and messages

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  73. A good one for wrapping paper is using two contrasting coloured pieces of tissue paper ontop of one another but slightly overlapping by about 5mm. once wrapped add a ribbon and you have a very pro looking present even if you are a bit naff at it :)

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  74. use recycled paper to wrap and tie with cotton cord

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  75. I think homemade chutney is ace. The last few years the relatives have all had it, and since we've had chickens (so less garden space for growing) the in laws are upset they aren't getting spicy jars. :)
    We would pack these with cheese biscuits and something like a bread board, or bowl.

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  76. Hand made greetings cards are always welcome, and you can incorporate a pocket into the design to hold a gift card. Theme the design of the card to link into the product the gift card is for and you'll have made a gift to treasure.

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  77. A calendar with personalised photos is always a great idea.

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  78. Home made gifts and grandparents go so well they love them! My kids have sent handprints on all their christmas cards....a little big now though.

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  79. Home made gift tags from last year's Christmas cards.

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  80. My son & I made some chocolate truffles to give as gifts to the family from him. They looked a bit lost in anything we tried to pack them in, so we wrapped them in cellophane, tied with a ribbon & made some crackers to put them in. It worked great & everyone was really pleased with our home made gifts

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  81. I spend us much time wrapping handmade gifts as making them. Lots of tissue paper and ribbon with added gold coins and candy canes for decoration.

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  82. I have a little stamp with my name on it

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  83. I make my own wrapping paper with a coloured inks and festive stamps

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  84. how lovely, we used to make gift tags out of old xmas cards and decorations from tinsel and old wire coathangers.

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  85. we make our own ribbons to wrap around our present mixing a 2 or 3 different ribbons as one

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  86. We have a green xmas and I wrap with old newspapers and decorate the package with an xmas ornament we already have - then they can put on the tree!

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  87. We are making centrepieces for Christmas tables for family and friends. So we can be there even if not physically present this year. @kateonthinice

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  88. Recycled paper (like the brown paper used for packing purposes in Amazon parcels!) and tags made from the previous year's Xmas cards or even the previous year's Xmas crackers! Paper bunting to decorate and home made pressies that are easy to make like scented candles, limoncella (vodka and lemon - yummy) and chocolate fudge (packaged in homemade paper bags). xx

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  89. We love making our own wrapping paper and gift tags. A roll of brown paper is cheap as chips and there are so many free printables available on the internet.

    Hele

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  90. I always put little stars into the cards so when they pull them out the pop out, also with mt pressys, I put a ribbon on one or two of them, that says PULL me, when it is pulled it comes out of the little slot Ive made with loads and loads of glitter on it....:)

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  91. I wrap with ribbon and put a bow on the top

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  92. I always make boxes of cupcakes and mince pies for our staff, just a nice little thank you!

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  93. get some calligraphy pins to write out your own labels - will look so professional & elegant!

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  94. We make home made tags to stick on the presents :) The kids love it

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  95. Raffia or bakers twine looks good on brown paper and can be used year round too.

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  97. My girls make gifts for their friends by filling a jar with layers of hot chocolate powder, chocolate buttons and marshmallows. They finish it off with a ribbon and a homemade gift tag with instructions to make the hot choccie. Cheap but lovely and personal. x (Wendy McDonald)

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  98. We use gift tags decorated by the kids

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  99. I make gift tags from last years Christmas cards that were sent to me

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  100. We make 'stained glass' biscuits - they're really easy and look so special. We wrap them in cellophane and hang them on the tree, so we can give them out to house guests over the Christmas period.

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  101. My new gift is a orange malteaser pudding - so easy to make

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  102. we are making jars of homemade jam

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  103. Make your own gift tags and personalize it to what each person likes for the perfect special finishing touch!

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  104. we make our own gift tags from our old xmas cards each year and thye look lovely. All we need is a hole punch and some ribbon

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  105. Last year I made my own biscuits which everybody seemed to like, so I will probably do the same this year. My dear old grandma used to make knitted items for my sons, like cardigans and hats. I've also thought about making my own jam and giving as gifts...maybe next year.x

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  106. I think it's all about the wrapping and presentation! I love wrapping gifts in traditional brown paper, and tying them with bows, it just adds a little something extra!

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  107. I love making homemade Jams, Chutney's, Pickles etc and usually make up a little hamper of goodies for everyone over the couple of months leading up to Christmas

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  108. I make gingerbread men, I put a pretty bow round their necks, wrap them in greaseproof paper, Put them in a box. and wrap that in pretty material with a bow on in

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  109. I like to hide presents, and leave cryptic clues around the house that form a treasure hunt for the unsuspecting recipient!

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  110. use last years cards to make lables.
    get the kids involved with stuff like prearing veggies , but make it fun.
    But the main one is..never put to much pressure on to make it the perfect xmas
    just have FUN

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  111. We make our own tags by recycling xmas cards

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  112. We make our own wrapping paper, I buy rolls of paper from Ikea, my son paints it or I doodle on it.

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  113. It's the one time potato prints work. Brown paper printed with stars or trees looks lovely

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  114. I love to make our wrapping paper more personal by getting the children to draw patterns on or using stampers. Gold on brown paper looks amazing!

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  115. My children love making our family Christmas card, which we sent out to everyone. They both do a picture for the front and back of the card and take great pride and delight in this.

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  116. Pop some petals or candy canes etc into a cellophane bag with the present in it, it's a nice change to wrapping paper :)

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  117. when wrapping presents im often left with off-cut pieces instead of throwing them in the bin i use them to make festive paper chains they look festive don't cost anything and are fun to do with the children!

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  118. We make Christmas cookies then bag them up with handmade tags and give them to the neighbors :-)

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  119. For all of the smaller gifts I make pretty drawstring bags from left over fabric scraps, and if I have the time add an appliqué initial of the recipient in a contrasting colour.

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  120. Wrap your presents in drawings your children have made of the recipient - always a personal touch, and often very moving, especially for grandparents

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  121. We are having a go at making gingerbread 'gift tags' this year ~ the first batch went well but we ate them! You have to have a dummy run at these things anyway don't you? :P Saves buying gift tags and they also get something to nibble on whilst unwrapping their present.

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  122. Decorating with ribbons and making gift tags :)

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  123. Make photo gift tags.
    Print off photos either of the recipient and cut around the picture to make it decorative e.g. crimped edges or circle. Write in the corner "TO YOU" and stick or attach it to the gift. You can also include a photo of yourself saying "FROM" if desired. These tags will make them smile before they've even unwrapped their pressie!

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  124. I always make Christmas cakes for some of the family which they love as it saves them time and expense. As the years go buy I've experimented with more complex shapes and decorations so they always look really different from those in the shops.

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  125. I like to occasionally wrap something in a much bigger box with a couple of bricks so it seems like it's much more impressive. A bit mean, but very amusing. Grown ups only!
    gavin
    @gavrc

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  126. This is a great round up of wonderful gifts. I always post some homemade gifts from the kitchen at this time of year. It makes a gift so much more special. I particularly like your vintage inspired bookmarks. GG

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  127. shoe boxes cover with wrapping paper

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  128. We scan photos and cut and shape them to make gift tags or wrapping paper

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  129. I use silicone molds and melt chocolate into them and chill them to make xmas shaped chocs (snowmen, holly, bells, xmas trees). Get some nice boxes and they look lovely :)

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  130. I make my own cards. I think I'll be stealing some of your ideas when I wrap my presents though

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  131. If you've got a photograph of the recipient (and an inkjet printer) then you can easily make a home made tags for any present with the "to" and "from" replaced with a little photos.

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  132. I like making cutouts from the paint charts you get free in the diy store. You can use them for gift cards or to decorate your presents when wrapping.

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  133. I buy presents for family and friends, but I also give little jars of homemade truffles or bottles of flavoured vodka for a little extra present.

    @rachiegr

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  134. Last year I bought retro teacups and saucers in 2nd hand shops and melted wax into them to make candles. A red ribbon and voila! I also made salt dough tree decorations with my 3yr/o with lots of glitter.I can be contacted through My twitter account is @kdavies83

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  135. last year my lids made Christmas Tree shaped Ginger Biscuits with a ribbon so they could be hung as a decoration and used these as gift tags with iced names on them :)

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  136. Home made crackers, they're much better than shop brought ones! Email: allthatlipstick@gmail.com

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  137. I wrap my presents in brown or white paper and my two small children add their artwork! Every gift is unique :)

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  138. Trying to comment on my phone and have no idea if they are getting through!
    Homemade is the new luxury! Salt dough decorations are on the tree, crocheted winter Warners have been hooked and cards have been printed and sewn!

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  139. We love making hampers as gifts with as much homemade produce as possible so cookies, cakes, jams fudges and chocolates. The kids love getting involved and its great for teacher gifts etc with drawings and decorations.

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    1. I can be contacted on abbycarroll@sky.com

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  141. I love printing my own gift wrap and also using white paper doilies on brown paper which look like snow flakes. I also use hama beads to make little mini snowflakes to hang from ribbons on the presents for a fun alternative present wrapping idea x

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  142. One Christmas I got cinema vouchers for some of my friends in couples and gifted them paired with a cup of pick and mix sweets. They went down a treat and the following year a couple of my friends told me they were going to copy the idea. You could even make an upmarket version with cinema or theatre tickets paired with home made fudge or chocolate in a little paper bag ready to eat at the show!

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  143. I make a few homemade gifts, a cake mix, Christmas cupcake papers, pretty vintage plate and napkins. I pick up baskets throughout the year. For garden lovers, I buy narcissus or crocus bulbs usually at a garden centre in a pick and mix crate and add a pretty plant pot, can be personalised easily with names

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  144. last year me and my kids made short bread and fudge great presents for teachers and cheap

    kay panayi

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  145. David Paterson dgrp@live.co.uk13 December, 2013 08:53

    Home made chilli oil, lovely and red, just decorate the bottle with some holly and mistletoe

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  146. Gingerbread decorations are fairly easy for little ones to make as little pressies, just remember to make a hole to thread ribbon through (and make extras to eat yourself)

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  147. We love to make paper chains with the kids and also they love making dough decorations, great for when its cold and yukky outside!

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  148. getting the kids to make a lovely home made card to go with it

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  149. I make my own Christmas crackers and fill them with home made truffles and any posh freebies I've had this year they're a lot better than those you buy in the shops.

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  150. Make your own christmas paper with festive potato printing, holly, Christmas tree, stars, santa shapes for the children to get busy! x

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  151. When we were little my Grandma used to put a chocolate mouse on our Christmas presents & it was always the first thing we ate on Christmas day. I do the same for other children now.

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  152. i let the kids do christmas cakes, the mess and fun keeps them busy and oout my way.. Also keep the christmas cards from last year and after using them to write this years ones, we make a huge collage.
    again the kids love cutting round santa and the reindeers and the paste keeps the stuck in one place for hours :)

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  153. Home made sweets such as fudge are always well received...package in a nice jar and add a lovely finishing touch by adding a nice hand written tag.

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  154. The kids love to help fill jars with ingredients for cookies, great little presents for their friends x

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  155. We use handmade tags made from last year's Christmas as gift tags on the next year's presents :)

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  156. i made a stamp of a fox for each pressie, it's our family name(soon to be mine lol) so everyone knows its from us when all the tags fall off!

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  157. My tip is that if I don't have time to make something I'll shop on Etsy :) That way I know I'm giving an ethical, handmade gift and supporting a small business too.

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  158. I like to wrap with newspaper. It looks vintage-y and is a great way to reuse old newspapers lying around the house!

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  159. I don’t think you can have any better than create a personal photo album or photo montage in a lovely picture frame.

    Having family that live in far flung places in the world – and even closer to home – an album or wall art that depicts family over the last year at a very family time when not all can be together is not only a wonderful gift, but can build a year upon year parade (A bit like the Gigg sports teams mug shots eh?!)

    Also – if you’re a bit of a geek – you can easily whizz up a screensaver install package that can pop the pics on you home/work machines!

    It may all sound a tad cliche – but family are the most important people in all our lives, not just Christmas!

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  160. We make our own gift tags using my sons hand & foot print in coloured paint and cutting round. He is 3, but as he gets older we may need to rethink this tradition thou!!

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  161. make some mince pies put them in a box with a bow and its a perfect xmas gift!

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  162. sugar mice are an easy winner!

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  163. I hand painted some upside down light bulbs with santa's face on and the others had a snowman on (learnt at a craft class) but they have made a great set of presents for family.

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  164. I love the hot water bottle cover idea, I'll remember that. My partner loves making jellies and chutneys, and makes beautiful labels to stick on the (reused) jars. She worries that a homemade gift isn't as nice, but I think I've finally convinced her that if it's tasty, it's a good gift.

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    1. She also collects any pretty hampers and baskets that are cheap in charity shops, great for making gorgeous presents.

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  165. We make our own hampers by collecting baskets in charity shops - so easy to do!

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  166. I search charity and second hand shops for baskets, containers and wool

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  167. I make Christmas cards by sewing them using form a line cards. Takes a while but they look great. Nicola Morgan

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  168. We get the children to make the wrapping paper by painting on a large plain sheet of paper.

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  169. I get all my friends and family to give me their old Christmas cards and I recycle them into next years Christmas gift tags. I also hand stamp brown paper as wrapping paper, personalised with maybe the recipients name.

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  170. I give my home made fudge in each persons favourite flavour :)
    JoJo

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  171. I always tend to make homemade Christmas cards, and I fill them with glitter/sequins which are a nice surprise when you open them!
    My homemade tip would be to make personalised homewares, its so easy to customise cushions or make hanging wall decorations out of some felt with a bit of stitching!

    email: sunaina__@hotmail.co.uk (two underscores) xxxx

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  172. Getting my son to scribble a 'message' on the gift tags

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  173. We always save last years cards to cut up and make little gift card, to attach to the presents.

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  174. We make our own crackers and put something we know people would like in them.

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  175. I love to make my own Christmas cards and add a bit of glitter and confetti Christmas sparkles into the envelope for added fun! Laura (bigosuk@yahoo.com)

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  176. We make our own Christmas cards for family

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  177. Instead of using bought gift tags, I like to use a photo of the person who will receive the gift. I really love using photos of memories of us both doing something together such as at a childrens' birthday parties, school or weddings. I just feel that it makes the gift much more personal.

    Katie Rushton (katierushton24@hotmail.com)

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  178. I'm not very good at homemade, but I can manage to make hampers. Its really nice to be able to pick a selection of goodies specially for the recipient. I've just made one for my 96 year old grandad full of goodies that have a 'laxative effect' as he is always complaining, he has a good sense of humour!

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  179. I give a home made cupcake with my gifts. It always puts a smile on people's faces.

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  180. i've made my own crackers for all my family, with small personalised gifts inside - just a wee thing but I thinks it adds something!

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  181. i've made my own crackers for all my family, with small personalised gifts inside - just a wee thing but I thinks it adds something!

    Fiona Gillis - fiona.gillis@ymail.com

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  182. This year instead of buying gifts directly I've brainstormed ideas for everyone personally and made their very own hamper!! These have included the workaholic, the sports guy, the party girl and even just grandma! It's a real personal touch I think

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  183. I love making homemade things :-)

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  184. We always make teachers presents as it can get so costly especially with teaching assistants too.. We find teacher poems off the internet and get the kids to write it out on card and make it look beautiful with ribbon and a cute little photo...to make it personalised

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  185. i like to make little sweets with chocolate moulds i have then wrap them in shiny paper and add a few to each chrismas gift ,and also make homemade stamps for card envelpopes of drawings from the children or little photos :)

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  186. with my kids we made gift tags with sparkly pictures on, more sparkles than pictures but each has a story lol

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  187. Throughout the year I buy lots of different kinds of bath and beauty products, pretty baskets, and make them up into gift sets for friends and family. Lots of pretty ribbon and bows make them look stunning, much nicer than shop bought and the personal touch makes a difference. Thanks for giveaway :)

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  188. I save unusual glass jars, different, shapes colours and sizes. For presents I fill them with assorted sweets or hair ribbons and clips then I cut a circle of pretty material for a lid and tie a contrasting ribbon around the neck to secure it. The jars take very little time to prepare but have a lovely country vintage effect and are always welcomed by the recipient.

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  189. I save the jars from scented candles to use for gifts. I put them in the dishwasher so they are sparkling clean, then I find out the favourite sweets of the person I am giving to and fill them up. For close family I like to make the gift a bit more special so for my grand-daughter I have added a pair of earrings and my grand-son cufflinks. I tie a fancy ribbon around the jar and add a bow to the lid.

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  190. we grow our own tomatoes and make jars of chutney to give as gifts x

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  191. This year I am planning on making biscuits for my daughter, shortbread probably, and give those to the family. I am loving the DVD hamper and the smellies... fab ideas

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  192. We are using handprints by the kids as gift tags, and we always make chocolates and biscuits as presents for the grown ups to share and enjoy

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  193. Mini-snowflake confetti inside presents - simple but very cute!

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  194. Our little boy is old enough now to love getting involved with making home made cards, so we've been letting him get heavy handed with the stickers and glitter glue. They may not be as neat as cards you buy in the shops, but they're certainly unique!

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